Philippines’ SEC to block access to Binance, crypto exchange’s operator says it’s not a registered corporation

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission has begun the process of blocking access to Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, whose chief stepped down last week and pleaded guilty to breaking US anti-money laundering laws.

The SEC said the operator of Binance was not a registered corporation in the Philippines, and was operating without the necessary licenses and authorizations to sell or offer securities of any kind.

The removal of access in the Philippines will take effect within three months of the issuance of its advisory on Nov. 28 to allow Filipino users time to withdraw investments from crypto exchanges, the SEC said in a statement.

It has asked Alphabet’s Google and Facebook parent Meta to ban online ads for Binance in the Philippines, and warned those selling or convincing people to invest in the platform that they could face criminal charges. Can be held liable.

Changpeng Zhao, the former head of Binance, stepped down as CEO last week after pleading guilty to deliberately failing the exchange to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.

Reuters asked for comment from Binance via email, but received an automated response.

Authorities said Binance broke US anti-money laundering and sanctions laws and failed to report more than 100,000 suspicious transactions with organizations described by the US as terrorist groups, including Hamas, al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Stayed.

He said the exchange never reported transactions with websites dedicated to selling child sexual abuse material and was one of the largest recipients of ransomware income.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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